‘It changes nothing.’ Nigerians unimpressed with redesigned banknotes
Nigeria has long been renowned for its ‘black’, or copper-rich money, but now the central bank has come up with an attempt to make its country’s distinctive currency more accessible to customers. In addition to making changes to the paper note in the country’s circulation, the Nigeria Reserve Bank (NRB) is also planning to introduce the country’s first’smart’ banknote in February 2018 – the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to do so.
The banknotes have a digital chip which can be used to monitor accounts over a period of 30 days, and the data can be accessed from a single app. If the user wishes, he or she can also change the date, amount of money included in the note, and even how much it will cost for the customer.
‘The changes are minimal compared to what we would do if we made changes to the whole system,’ said the NRB’s Deputy Governors, Nuhu Ogbo and Akintunde Iru, in a statement. Ogbo and Iru explained that the main objective of adding a chip to the note was to make it more secure and to protect against counterfeits.
Speaking about their proposed move to put it in place, Ogbonna Oyebi, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, said: ‘We are on the right track, it is true that banknotes are no longer made in Europe, and no one here is making counterfeit notes.
‘At the same time, at that stage, you know the quality of the notes, and you know what they cost. So we cannot allow that to be compromised by making counterfeits.’
However, the NRB’s attempt at redesigning its notes will not go down well with the public. As reported in the Nigerian Tribune, ‘people said the proposed note, which has an improved security feature, looked like a for-sale letter from Goldman Sachs